People often say they have ‘knots’ in their muscles. What are theses tiny knots, and how did they get there? Are they sailors knots, reef knots, square knots?
Well technically they are neither of the above, but they sure do feel like knots.
You may have heard me refer to what may feel like a knot, as a Trigger Point. This is an area of tight tissue in a muscle where tiny parts of your muscle fibres are in a contracted position. Essentially your muscle fibres are bunched together. These fibres cannot be used because they are already contracted, so these muscles will be weaker.
They may also cause other muscles to contract. Muscles with trigger points get tired more easily and don’t return to a relaxed state as quickly when the muscle stops working. This possibly leads to a release of sensitising chemicals related to pain. Blood flow is restricted, so nutrients and oxygen have harder time getting into the belly of the muscle and waste has a hard time getting out.
These trigger points can develop during activities when muscle use exceeds muscle capacity and normal recover is disturbed. This can be during recreational or sporting activities or during your usual occupation. Sitting at your desk or a repetitive task at work is just as likely to give you trigger points as vigorous exercise is. Trigger points can also develop after acute physical trauma.
How does massage help?
Massage can break down those tiny adhesions and taut muscle bands using sustained pressure on the trigger point.
Regular massage will help reduce and prevent the trigger points (knots) from coming back and allow the muscle to be able to ‘learn’ another position it be in other than in a contracted state. This will reduce pain, and allow the muscle to get back to functioning normally.
What else can I do to reduce ‘knots’ in my muscles?
- A balanced diet and increased water intake can prevent muscle knots, along with decreased caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Frequently changing posture or taking a short break is beneficial to help prevent the development of knots
- Gentle physical exercise helps to maintain muscle elasticity.
Book your massage today – make it a regular thing. You’ve only got one body.